EU access to encrypted data

At the turn of the year, the European Commission made a proposal for a regulation focusing on the protection of personal data in electronic communication, the so-called ePrivacy Regulation.

Currently, the ePrivacy Directive ensures the protection of privacy in the electronic communications sector, especially the protection of confidentiality of communications, in line also with the Data Protection Directive.

The ePrivacy Regulation proposal will repeal the ePrivacy Directive and modernise data protection. It will establish a legal framework, which takes account of the important technological and economic developments in the electronic communication sector, such as new services of interpersonal communications and machine-to-machine communications.

Member states want easier access to encrypted data as part of investigative police investigations. EU countries also want companies to develop new technology and tools to improve the automatic detection and removal of content that incites to violence. The European Parliament has recently challenged and demanded that authorities in the EU cannot break the electronic protection.

The final piece of legislation will require the approval of the European Parliament and Council.